Taliban to ban music and women out alone
The Taliban will ban music in Afghanistan and require women to travel with a male chaperone, despite claims the group will be more liberal than the brutal regime of 20 years ago.
The Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said women will be permitted to work and go to school under the new Islamic Emirate, still taking shape after the militants swept into Kabul almost two weeks ago. Speaking to The New York Times, he insisted that women must wear the hijab and be escorted by a man on longer trips. He also said that music would be banned, dismissing it as un-Islamic.
“Music is forbidden in Islam, but we’re hoping that we can persuade people not to do such things, instead of pressure them,” he said.
The comments will again raise suspicions that Taliban claims that they have changed are window-dressing, made with an eye on their global audience, as the new government seeks international legitimacy and the return of foreign aid and investment.
“We want to build the future and forget what happened in the past,” said Mujahid, rejecting claims that the Taliban are quietly reimposing the former restrictions on women. He offered assurances that women would soon be allowed back to education or work without a mahram, or male guardian.
We want to build our country and women must be part of nation building and they are free to go to school and offices by following shariah,” he told The Times.
Mujahid denied widespread reports of Taliban atrocities as triumphant militants hunt down supporters of the fallen government and those who had worked with US and Nato forces.
Human rights groups have reported summary executions of civilians by Taliban fighters, and women’s rights campaigners have gone into hiding, with many trying to flee the country.
For years a faceless link between the Taliban and the global media, Mujahid has emerged in public for the first time since the fall of Kabul.
He denied that Afghans were being refused entry to Kabul airport as the desperate evacuation effort goes on, insisting that those with valid travel documents would be permitted to leave the country.
“They need passports and visas for the countries they’re going to, and then they can leave by air. If their documents are valid, then we’re not going to ask what they were doing before,” Mujahid told The New York Times.
He also voiced frustration at the evacuation effort, claiming western powers were pillaging Afghanistan’s best minds as they depart the country.
“They shouldn’t interfere in our country and take out our human resources: doctors, professors and other people we need here,” he said. “In America, they might become dishwashers or cooks. It’s inhuman